A Burning Ear Christmas – Part 1: Original Jams

gimpy tree

It’s crazy to think about it but Christmas is right around the corner! However, while most blogs are geeking out over their best of the year/decade lists (umm… it’s not over yet, dudes) I’ve been working to collect a couple X-mas mixes for the holiday season. If you are anything like me you can’t handle getting too deep into Christmas music until the date looms a bit closer, so I figured I would start slow. Today I’ve got a mix of pretty snazzy original Christmas songs by some great artists. Start easing yourself into the holiday spirit and next week we will get into holiday standards covered by great bands. Do I need to mention that this mix fits nicely on a CD or in an iTunes playlist? No, you got that already? Good, good.

A Burning Ear Christmas Part 1 – Original Jams

Zip file at the above link. Tracklist and individual MP3s after the jump…

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FRED sound like pop SKYSCAPERS, DAMN YOU, dancing choreographed HOLLYWOOD numbers all over the place!

Fred Go God Go

i’m enthralled by your staggering genius and marvel at your humming
when you don’t know the tune

♫ FRED – Skyscrapers

Fred released their impeccably titled third album, Go God Go, in Ireland 18 months ago and it is just now landing in my ears (thanks to PMA). 18 months is a looong time for music this good to be hiding out. But then again, Fred is neither the most exciting nor memorable band name. Their tunes, however, tell a different tale! “Damn You Hollywood” (below) was first to catch my ear and then I saw the video for “Skyscrapers” (above) and became a Fred convert. After getting the album, “Far” is quickly growing on me. As they romp through their 12 tracks I am reminded of disco, 80’s pop, Arcade Fire, and how much I like a good horn section. Good times.

♫ FRED – Damn You Hollywood

Bury your face in MySpace /// eMusic too

SHOUT OUT LOUDS have been doing solid WORK

SOL Work

to get to know yourself you’ve gotta run away

♫ Shout Out Louds – Walls

Hells yeah. Shout Out Louds debut, Our Ill Wills, was one of my favorites of 2007 and now we are getting a follow-up in 2010. After hearing that Phil Ek was producing (the guy who turned the Dodos latest album into a bore), that there wouldn’t be any more strings or bells, and being initially disappointed with “Walls”, I was pretty skeptical about the whole affair. Then I listened. And listened. And watched. And listened. And now I am pretty damn into it. “Walls” is definitely a step in a different direction for the band, but at the same time it’s still a huge anthemic fist pumper that has their stamp all over it. February 23rd is when we get to hear Work and I emphasize hear because I think they could have stepped up their game with the album art. Our Ill Wills was so on point and now this makes them look like a bunch of sad-sacks instead of one of the most sincerely fun bands around.

Bury your face in MySpace /// eMusic too

«Flashback« Edwyn Collins – A Girl Like You


you give me just a taste so i want more and more

♫ Edwyn Collins – A Girl Like You / 1994

This is a total mid-90s classic that always seemed pretty timeless. The album art, however, hasn’t fared as well and definitely looks its age. I never had this album (or heard much of Edwyn’s stuff) but it’s kind of weird that before today I swear I had never even seen that album cover. Anyway, BORING…. Perhaps more interesting is that percussion on the album was played by The Sex Pistols’ Paul Cook? Perhaps even more interesting is that, despite being a bit worse for wear health-wise, Edwyn is still kicking out jams? Well, his 2007 album, Home Again, (which I have also not heard) contained this song that would be downright idiotic not to share with you today.

♫ Edwyn Collins – You’ll Never Know (My Love)

Listening to these 2 tracks together makes me think I need to seriously consider getting some full albums from this guy. Talk about sexy music. Just leave the album art off in iTunes.

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap

THE FUTUREHEADS have STRUCK gold again, you would be DUMB to ignore this jam

Futureheads struck dumb

start living in the clouds, go and make your mother proud

♫ The Futureheads – Struck Dumb

The Futureheads are back and are ripping it up as usual. “Struck Dumb” is not breaking any new ground for the Brits but that is just fine with me. If you dig this jam and haven’t acquainted yourself with their previous work, then I highly suggest you do so. (Their 2004 s/t debut and last year’s This Is Not The World, especially.) Their fourth LP is in the works and it’s definitely one of the albums I’m most looking forward to in 2010.

Bury your face in MySpace /// eMusic too


Systems officer

you’ve gotta make a move, the decision is up to you

♫ Systems Officer – Shape Shifter

Systems Officer a solo project from Pinback’s Zach Smith and if you ever dug Pinback then you will be down with this. Systems Officer put out an EP in 2004 but it wasn’t until this year that we got a full length. I have always had a soft spot for Pinback and this stuff is no different. Perhaps even more palatable as some of spastic energy of Pinback in pared down. I haven’t got my mitts on the full album but as soon as someone hooks me up I will let you know how it’s treating me, but I have a feeling it’s gonna be solid business. In the meantime, use this jam as your headphone-soundtrack for lurking in the night. It just has that feeling, right?

Bury your face in MySpace /// eMusic too

MARINA & THE DIAMONDS are no longer THE OUTSIDER band coming down MOWGLI’S ROAD

Marina & The Diamonds

don’t get on my bad side
i can work a gun

♫ Marina & The Diamonds – The Outsider

Marina & The Diamonds have been all up in the blogosphere’s grill for most of 2009 but despite having a handful of great jams and a few fantastic videos, we still don’t have a proper album. Well, if you have forgotten about her since her June debut on TBE then here are 2 tasty treats to keep you up to speed. I am a bit worried that her album is going to contain so many songs we already know that it wont sound fresh or interesting. It’s a bit like seeing too many trailers to a movie. Only worse, really. Well whatever, I am still looking forward to what she is cooking up for us.

♫ Marina & The Diamonds – Mowgli’s Road

Bury your face in MySpace

} TBE Digest 3 • 12/03/09

sad spoonThe music this week is not so much “craptastic” as it is “disappointing” or “uninteresting.” Anyway, enough “quotation marks,” let’s get on to the “music.”

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